I wrote about my resolutions for 2014 the other day. Since then, I’ve had some time to think and life marched on. The past two weeks have brought certain issues to light in my life and has given me a word of focus.
The word in question is Kindness. It has occurred to me that I haven’t been very kind recently. I have been unhappy, and incredibly unkind to myself. As a result of that unhappiness and hurt, I have been unkind to those around me.
One moment sticks out to me. We were celebrating Christmas with my in laws, and Liam was being crazy. He was running around, stealing his cousins’ gifts, yelling, hitting, and being a nearly two year old. At one point, he stepped on a puzzle he was gifted and fell over. He did it again, and again. He got upset every time, but kept going back to the damn puzzle and stepping on it. Finally, after picking him up the third time, I laughed and told him “Oh baby, I love you. You’re not the brightest crayon in the box”. I was kidding. I didn’t mean it, but I said it. It’s not nice. It’s not true and it’s not something I would want anyone to say to my child, least of all me. Luckily, there is this person, a beacon of light, that heard the comment and brought my attention to it. She is Pat’s cousin and is so important to me. I love my boy. I love him so much and it hurts me that my pain lashed out at him, even with humour. I know it seems silly, it was such a minor comment, but it’s the beginning of something that I never want to grow.
My brother in law used to make fun of me, all the time. This being my Dad’s daughter’s husband. He used to pick on me for not being intelligent, for going to the local university, for choosing a program that didn’t lead to employment, and lastly, for my religious beliefs. It was always dismissed as humour, and no one ever defended me. Supposedly, it was his way of showing his love. He was just trying to get a rise out of me. I was taking it too personally and too seriously. It hurt every time and no one stood up for me.
Recently, I posted an article about fat shaming and was surprised at the reactions it received in my group of friends and family. I took some comments very personally and got really upset. Since then, this pain has been stewing and growing and reaching a breaking point.
Last night, someone who I consider a mother to me, commented on my weight gain. She commented on the attention I pay Liam (stating that I take too many silly pictures of him doing nothing and my poor second child will be neglected in comparison). She made me feel lazy, silly, frivolous and fat. I know that wasn’t her intention. If anything she was worried about my health and knows that I don’t have parents to give me guidance. To make it worse, while I was on the phone with her, Liam got his hands on a cookie cutter I left out and sliced one of his fingers. The phone conversation ended on that note. I feel a deep hurt, and had nightmares all night. I chatted with my sister this morning, and as usual, she helped me find some perspective and insight.
My whole life, I’ve been basing my opinion of myself on how others treat me. It’s been to the point that I’ve avoided seeing some old friends because I think that they will find me repulsive. I have striven to be the pretty girl for so long, the girl that the boys and girls want, that I don’t know how to deal with not being wanted any more. It’s so petty, so vain, but the real issue isn’t that someone else might find me repulsive because of my weight but that I do. It has been over a year since I’ve seen one of my oldest friends because of my fear and self judgement.
So, in 2014, I resolve to be kinder. Kinder to myself, kinder to others. I strive to teach my son about kindness, through example.